First Pitch: The Past, Present, and Promise of the Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation

It’s a lot easier to appreciate a Joe Musgrove no-hitter when it’s followed by dominant starts from Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker.

It’s not that Keller and Brubaker have any link to Musgrove’s performance elsewhere, or vice-versa.

The Musgrove no-hitter was a weird mix of feelings, following the offseason we just saw. That offseason saw Musgrove kind of quietly regarded as a sleeper starting pitcher available via trade. When the trade actually happened, there was either shock that the Pirates received so much, or confirmation that Musgrove was worth that much.

Now, Musgrove is a San Diego Padre. And just like any paper-handed fool, the instant reaction to a Musgrove no-hitter is to feel regret for possibly selling too low.

I’m not here to evaluate that trade today. It’s nearly impossible to do so, as we have yet to see any of the minor leaguers in action.

But, damn, David Bednar does look like a promising reliever.

Promising relievers and trade returns are a means to an end.

The end should be winning the World Series.

I don’t think I need to preach to any of you the importance of starting pitching when it comes to winning a World Series.

That’s why seeing Keller and Brubaker do so well allows us to appreciate Musgrove’s work.

It’s easier to forget about the past when you have hope for the future.

And yeah, one good weekend of starts doesn’t justify long-term hope. You shouldn’t be putting Mitch Keller and JT Brubaker into future rotations in pen, surrounded by the future projections of Quinn Priester, Cody Bolton, Brennan Malone, and/or Tahnaj Thomas. You probably will, in your head briefly, before being brought back to reality with the thought that there is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

But you don’t have to tell anyone here about that.

We know what team we’re following.

We know the history of this team with pitching prospects.

We’re always reminded of how well the pitchers do elsewhere.

It’s nice to have a weekend where “Former Pirate Pitcher Shoving” is the undercard to the “Future Pirates Pitchers Shoving” double main event.

So, feel free to dream away about the future of the rotation in the comments today.

Pirates Highlights

Daily Links

**Game Recap: J.T. Brubaker Pitches, Hits Pirates to Win Over Cubs

**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: April 11th, Pop, Red and Turner

**Card of the Day: 1999 Stadium Club Turner Ward

**1925 Pirate Replay, September 2: Morrison, Grantham Lead Pirates to Eighth Straight Win


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